July 24, 2014

Mid-State Fair

This comes with a bit of backstory, so bear with me. 

Monday night I started feeling extremely sick...I was throwing up, felt miserable, the whole thing. My life, as usual. I fell asleep around 3:30 (normal time), but woke up just a short time later, still sick. Eventually I was able to fall asleep again and didn't wake up until 11. 

My mom and I had planned to leave around noon for the fair, but obviously since I got a later start, that didn't happen. But, luckily we didn't need to be there early. So, I got up, put my makeup on, did my hair, got dressed, then had lunch. Well, I just kind of picked at my soup because I wasn't that hungry. Then, it was time to go, because I still had to pick up my tickets to the concert and get a few things taken care of. 

We went to Starbucks so I could try one of their new fizzy sodas; I tried the ginger ale. It was very gingery! HA! But, I still enjoyed it. Finally, we were on the road. I absolutely love the drive, which is good, because it was our second time on it this week. I love staring out the window and dreaming. I was also in charge of the iPod, so of course I was playing Jana Kramer and Lady A tunes to get in the mood for the concert. My mom and I were having fun, and I was just trying to rest up after little sleep and feeling crappy all night.

We made it to the fair close to three o'clock, parked, then walked to the publicity office, so they could escort me to another office. I picked up my tickets and talked to the guy in charge, then picked up my meet and greet passes for Jana Kramer. I was so excited that everything had gone smoothly and I had all of my passes in hand.

From there, my mom and I were free for the next few hours. We meandered through the buildings to look at the booths, one of my very favorite parts of any fair. I like getting to see all the cool stuff that people make or sell; the businesses they run. 

We walked through another open hall with booths and really neat local stuff, and I always find the coolest stuff. Last time, I bought two sparkly purple letters, a "T" and an "S." It was for the Taylor Swift concert, and after the show I was able to give Liz (her former backup singer) the "T" and I kept the "S." This year, were all kinds of cool signs with arrows or that just looked vintage. There were other booths with clothes, purses and jewelry. There was even a Pink Pewter booth, selling the headbands that Carrie Underwood always wears. Headbands have always been my thing, but Pink Pewter's are a bit pricey to buy all the time. However, I was finally able to get one, because I had some money. It's like the one that Carrie wore last year at CMA Fest. I'm in love with it already. The girls were extremely helpful as well. 

When we finished there, we were starting to get a little hungry, so we grabbed a couple corn dogs. We found a spot to sit down and eat, then walked around to look at the adorable animals. The bunnies are too cute for words and the horses are just beautiful. I pet one of the horses that I'd had my eyes on, but while taking the picture he moved his head funny and I kind of freaked out a little bit and jerked away. He was so pretty and still makes me want a ranch with horses running around. I'd like to really know how they operate and how to act around them, because they are fascinating creatures. 

When we were done, we walked through the other side of the fair that we hadn't seen yet. Although, we took a short break to listen to Lady A's soundcheck (and my feet were hurting already from the cowboy boots). It seems like every time we're curious and try to look into things, we always get yelled at. A lady opened one of the gates to the stage area, so we thought it was open, but weren't having luck, when one of the security guards came over and asked if we had passes or what we were doing there. I was like, "oh, I was just standing here..." He just said "Oh," then we walked off. A little earlier, I had tried to stand on one of the benches to peek over the large fence to see Lady A, and one of the guys working a booth nearby SCREAMS for me to get off. I had already started climbing down and said sorry, when he's still saying, "The bench is for sitting, not standing." So, that was eventful. We walked through the rides area and one of the other exhibits with photographs and a few other collections. 

After that, we decided to sit across from the steel gate where we would enter for Jana Kramer's meet and greet. I touched up my makeup, checked Twitter updates, etc. We ran into one of our friends that we've met through concerts and Carrie Underwood's fan club and talked with her for awhile, then they led us inside to meet Jana Kramer. 

We walked to the backstage area and lined up near a white bus, which I believe was Hillary Scott's, because her husband, Chris, and daughter Eisele, walked onto the bus, but stopped to wave and say hi to the crowd. That was pretty exciting. A few minutes later, Jana walked out with a couple other members of her team.

It was all very fast, basically just time for a picture (and no autographs), but that was fine. I finally walked up, she introduced herself and I told her my name, then we took our picture. My mom didn't want to do the picture alone, so I just stayed with her. I was about to walk off, but then said, "actually, I have a question for you." She's like "Oh yeah, sure, go for it." So, I told her I was the Features Editor of my school newspaper and was wondering if it would be possible to set up an interview with you or if that's something you'd even be interested in. She told me I could try to set it up with her management and gave me the info. I thanked her, and she said "You're welcome, sweetheart." She was very sweet and even though it was all very quick, she didn't make it feel rushed. 

When we finished, we walked out with the friend we had ran into and decided to check out the merch table. We talked with her practically until the show started about our favorite artists, upcoming concerts and people we had seen since the last time we talked. 

We said goodbye, then found our seats. Pretty soon, it was showtime! Jana did such a great job, especially since the crowd wasn't very responsive. But, I really enjoyed her set, because she sings with so much emotion and passion, almost getting into character. She's such a great performer and really knows how to get into it.

It started cooling down during the intermission, so I put my jacket on, but I was so excited about Lady A that it didn't even matter. They were absolutely incredible, as always. However, my family and I have only seen them at CMA Fest, because for someone reason we always had something going or couldn't make it to their full show when they started headlining. This was our first official concert, and they didn't disappoint. They have this incredible connection with the crowd, almost welcoming you into their little bubble. Plus, I liked that their crowd was pretty tame, just enjoying the music. They sang some of their earlier hits, reminisced on how they started, covered songs like "Cowboy Take Me Away," "Rhiannon" and "Wake Me Up." The entire time, they had the crowd on their feet, waving their arms, swaying the lights of their cell phones back and forth, and singing along. They prove to me time and time again that they're so humble and so deserving of all the success that they've had. They make quality music and they care about the fans...You can't go wrong there. 

After the show ended, my mom and I made a stop at the retro pie stand that seemed to be a big hit, because there was quite a line. I'd had a headache basically all day and people kept running into us, because it was much busier, so I was ready to go. We got our pies, then headed out. Everything looked so beautiful and magical at night, though. We walked back to the car, grabbed dinner at Taco Bell, then headed home. My mom and I were both starting to get tired, and she had to drive home, but I made the ride exciting by playing Justin Timberlake and a little more Lady A. 

It was such a fun night that I won't forget. And sometimes I have to pinch myself that things always end up working out when you least expect it. It also reminds me of my love and passion for music and the artists who create those songs.

Let's just say, I slept really good that night.

That's all for now,
Shelby :)

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